How it happened: Justin Ruggiano, Mike Olt and Starlin Castro all delivered RBIs in the first three innings to get the Cubs started. Olt hit his third home run of the season in the second inning, a shot down the left-field line that stayed just inside the foul pole. Darwin Barney added a home run -- his first -- in the sixth inning, and Welington Castillo added his third in the seventh. Edwin Jackson gave up two runs on eight hits over 5 ⅔ innings as the Cubs won for the first time since April 11.
What it means: A better brand of baseball Saturday led to a much better result, although Olt threatened to undo things on defense in the seventh inning. The Cubs allowed two unearned runs in Friday’s 4-1 defeat to the Reds and were 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position. On Saturday, Olt booted a ground ball with two outs in the seventh, allowing a run to score, and then threw late and wild to first base. It could have been two errors on the same play, but first baseman Anthony Rizzo tracked down the errant throw and nailed Chris Heisey trying to advance to second.
Outside the box: In just six innings Saturday, Emilio Bonifacio delivered more hits than he had in his previous six games. His 19-for-38 start over his first eight games became but a memory when he went 2-for-24 in his six games before Saturday. But his 3-for-5 game Saturday could be the start of a new hot streak. His early hitting display still has his batting average up to a robust .358.
Off beat: Not always the most efficient pitcher around, Jackson couldn’t have been more economical in the third inning. The right-hander unleashed the rare three-pitch frame that actually included a Reds hit. Billy Hamilton led off the inning against Jackson with a first-pitch bunt single, but Joey Votto grounded into a nifty double play when Barney went up the middle from his spot at second base and flipped the ball to Castro at the bag to get it started. Brandon Phillips followed with a first-pitch comebacker to end the quickest of half innings.
Up next: The Cubs will send right-hander Carlos Villanueva (1-3, 11.57 ERA) to the mound Sunday against the Reds in the finale of a three-game series. Cincinnati will counter with right-hander Mike Leake (1-1, 2.45) in the 1:20 p.m. start from Wrigley Field.